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Ever since it was first introduced in 2009, Klout has seen its fair share of fans and critics. Fans, such as bloggers, use Klout to highlight their “online influence” in order to snag freebies, and businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, use Klout to identify socially influential customers whom they can give upgrades to, in exchange for some nice press. On the other hand, the critics have bashed Klout relentlessly, with one calling it “the Internet equivalent of herpes” and job seekers have reportedly been denied jobs because their Klout score was too low.

So what is this Klout thing anyhow? Well Dave recently did a full write-up on it Klout - Networking To Increase Your Online "Influence" Score Klout - Networking To Increase Your Online "Influence" Score I wasn't a fan of Klout when I first heard about it. Even after I signed up and actively started to delve through what Klout is and does, I was underwhelmed. Actually, I'd go as... Read More but if you’re in a hurry and want the short version, Klout is a way of measuring a person’s influence online. It pulls together the social activity from a person’s Twitter page, Facebook account, Google Plus page and much more.  Then it comes up with a number and that number is your “Klout”, your level of online influence. The higher the better. Mine is 54 (which could get me tickets to a Bon Jovi concert!) and goes one or two points either way, every 2-3 weeks. To give you some comparison points, Barack Obama is a whopping 94, Pepsi is a miserable 10 and Harry Potter is 58 (I’m being beaten by a fictional character – that’s REALLY embarrassing!). Oh and MakeUseOf, your favourite tech blog is 65.

So now it’s time for you to tell us in the comments what you think.  Is Klout a total waste of time and another stupid useless gimmick on the Internet?  Or do you think there are practical uses for knowing who the movers and shakers of the Internet are?  Do you have any ideas how Klout might be improved? It’s time to vent!

Infographic Source: www.onlinedegrees.com

  1. Ben
    July 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Klout is not very accurate. However I think with time it will improve. Denying people jobs because of a low Klout score? Now this is a touch ridiculous!

  2. anishdg
    July 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Nice infographic, but doesn't tell me anything about the how accurate it is.

  3. Chris Hoffman
    July 10, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Pretty scary to see that people are being denied jobs by a system that thinks Justin Bieber is more influential than the president of the USA -- in fact, by a system that thinks Justin Bieber is the most influential person in the world! Shows how valuable it is!

  4. justex07
    July 9, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Ok, another comment, yikes your commenting system is pretty rough. No links and no line breaks? Makes for some seriously ugly comments. I recommend Livefyre if you haven't given them a try.

    • justex07
      July 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      And then all of a sudden line breaks and urls work, so disregard the above comment :D mea culpa

  5. justex07
    July 9, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    This article and infographic could use some extra attention/fact checking. I love Klout and hate Klout.

    They are a necessary evil for us in marketing when we're trying to gauge success and the influence of our efforts on branding. As an individual I have gained some really cool perks from Klout. But their system has its flaws.

    I had a Klout score of 69 the day I went to Klout's SF headquarters. The next morning I had a score of I think 49. This is a drop that should not have happened, never mind that my measurable assets only grew, if there was a year-long miscalculation of this degree (20 points) their system is broken. Or at least was broken while still being sold to clients.

    I am now at a 61.

    In your article you state that Klout gives Pepsi a score of 10. That is pretty horrible, and it is also a mistake. Klout also lists Pepsi with a score of 71! That's a HUGE difference. Now the fault isn't on MUO for publishing the wrong information (that's what Klout's Pepsi page says) but common sense should tell you that a 10 from a brand with nearly 1 million followers is awfully silly.

    If Pepsi only had a Klout of 10, Klout would be broken.

    While your article says 10, your infographic says 44. In your article you have a 34 point difference in Klout for the same company. Clearly this should have caught your attention right?

    Doing a search for Pepsi on Klout.com provides you with the Pepsi page (10) but also in the search results, it provides the cached Klout score (71).

    So we now have three scores, 10 in your text (from their page on Klout, obviously a flaw), 44 on your infographic (though I have no idea how you got this number) and 71 (from the cached Klout score via search on Klout).

    I have provided a screenshot of this http://flic.kr/p/cu7hfL

    Bottom line, Klout is great but it is heavily flawed. It will get better but right now it isn't the Holy Grail.

    Also, I love MUO and this is my first time commenting; it was sadly the oversights in the article and infographic that got me to make this comment. Keep up the otherwise good work.

  6. Louie Baur
    July 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I have also had some strange things labeled on my Klout account and I like Mark got some business cards which was pretty cool but I wasn't completely sold on Klout. That all changed a few weeks ago when I got an awesome Klout Perk which was a weekend stay-cation at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes.

    • Mark O'Neill
      July 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Wow, that's a cool perk!! What's your Klout score? I bet it's higher than my 54!!

      • Louie Baur
        July 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        I have been hovering around at the 80 mark for a few months now.

        • Mark O'Neill
          July 9, 2012 at 7:13 pm

          You'll need to tell me your secret sauce. Mine just dropped today, shortly after writing this article! To be at 80, you must be doing something right.

  7. Ryan Dube
    July 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I like Klout mostly because it says that I have quite a bit of influence, but if it didn't say so, I'd probably hate it. :-)

    Selfish reasons aside, I do find that it's accurate at a surreal level when it comes to what sorts of topics that I write about most and where my areas of focus are in general. It's pretty interesting to see what Klout has to say about me - I don't log in often but I do occasionally just go gauge reaction (and of course to see what kind of cool things there are to pick up from marketers!

    • Mark O'Neill
      July 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      I'm still smarting over the time when Klout told the world that I was an expert on homosexuality. I had tweeted a pro-gay tweet (something to do with gay marriage I think) and Klout immediately labeled me a homosexuality expert. I wasn't sure whether to accept that as a compliment or an insult!

      I also got free business cards from moo.com because of my score, so I guess there are some good sides to the whole thing :-)

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